Moderation, grace marks to continue for school leaving exams in Assam

After a controversy over alleged excessive grace marks to Class 10 students in Assam, a government-appointed panel has recommended that moderation in marks as well as grace marks will continue, but with riders.

education Updated: May 21, 2017 19:57 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
The Board of Secondary Education, Assam will continue to give grace marks to Class 10 students in their school leaving examination under specific circumstances.(Representative Photo)

Students passing out from Class 10 in Assam would continue to benefit from moderation in marks as well as grace marks, a committee formed by the state government has recommended.

The issue had triggered a controversy this month after education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma alleged that the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) manipulated marks in the high school leaving certification (HSLC) exam.

A committee comprising four vice-chancellors of universities in Assam was formed to suggest remedies after Sarma told the state assembly that SEBA used to fudge pass percentage at the behest of the government in power to show a better picture of the education system.

The minister had alleged that SEBA used to consult the state government before declaring results and in some instances gave students as much as 40% more than what they actually scored.

“The committee found that moderation or normalization of marks was not done by SEBA as per statistical methods and established norms,” Sarma told journalists on Sunday.

The committee recommended that moderation in marks would continue as per established norms elsewhere, but only in instances when questions come from outside syllabus, discrepancies in electronic assessment of answer sheets, wrong usage of terminology in questions etc.

It was also recommended that up to 5 marks as grace can be given to students who fail to reach score 30 (the pass mark) in a particular subject, but grace marks should be limited only to three subjects.

Sarma said that SEBA used to give as much 18 as grace marks to students in various subjects to show a higher pass percentage. He conceded that implementation of the recommendations could affect the pass percentage.

Rejecting questions about confidentiality, the committee suggested SEBA to issue notifications ahead of the declaration of results, mentioning how much marks were given as grace or moderation for a particular year.

“We have accepted the recommendations in totality and have sent the committee’s report to SEBA for compliance,” he said.

Results for this year’s HSLC exams, in which over 3.8 lakhs students appeared, are expected this month.

First Published: May 21, 2017 19:57 IST